Joining Crossfit inspired change in me in the areas of nutrition and exercise. They were committed to education, technique, and performance. Newbies had to attend 1:1 sessions and one of them was about nutrition. Its role on health and physical performance. And they also touched food quality and inflammation in the body. I was so curious to learn more. I took a deep dive into food, nutrition, inflammation, and finally, started to COOK!!!
Holy Moly!!! A new Maria was born.
My early experiences with cooking and how my body was responding to eating more nutrient-dense foods were very revealing. Until then, it had never occurred to me that lack of nutrients and hydration could be part of my non-stop cravings, irritability, mood swings, poor natural energy, belly fat, GI problems, and more. WOW!!!
At that time, I figured out that I was going to learn mostly on my own. I was not able to find resources that gave me the confidence I could beat the addiction. Plus, I was looking for a comprehensive approach that would help me manage my emotional eating and eating disorder. I had a feeling that when I addressed all three components (sugar addiction, emotional eating, and eating disorder), I’d be able to let go of my obsession with weight control.
For the next two years, I worked insanely on my nutrition. I took a deep dive into articles, books, and health summits, whatever I could find.
2013 was a very inspiring year for me. One of the books I was reading mentioned important blood biomarkers and healthy functional levels one ought to have. I pulled years of blood results and started to study my numbers. Holy Moly. I discovered that I had prediabetes, super low vitamin D, inflammation, and many other markers that were not at the optimal levels. That scared and shook me to the core.
I went back to my doctor to rerun my labs. I asked why he had never told me about my prediabetes. He said it was because since I was 36 without a family history of diabetes and was active playing volleyball, it was ok. I looked at him and said, “you don’t ask what I eat. I eat SUGAR all day.” I thought to myself….”are you waiting for me to get diabetes and then give me medication?”
That same day, I went in with a list of tests/biomarkers I wanted him to run. He asked why. I told him I had read a book that recommended knowing certain markers to give more insights into inflammation and deficiencies. He agreed but was clear he was not going to change his recommendations. I told him I was going to look at my own numbers.
Let me tell you, it was that visit that I decided I was going to take full responsibility for my health going forward. I became kinda obsessed with nutrition, balancing meals, eating my own food, replacing sugar with real food, and all.
In December 2013, I went back to get labs again. I wanted to know whether my efforts were paying off. They were. I had reversed my prediabetes. I felt so empowered. Not all my problems were solved. I was still working on my chronic digestion issues, emotional eating, and eating disorder. I had other biomarkers out of whack which I addressed later. That year, I also started my training to become a personal trainer.